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Priest kidnapped, murdered in Brazil

CWN - March 18, 2010

The chancellor of the Diocese of Barra do Piraí-Volta Redonda died on March 16, two days after he and a former seminarian were kidnapped.

Father Dejair Gonçalves de Almeida, 32, who ministered to eight Catholic communities, was walking with Epaminondas Marques da Silva, a former seminarian who oversaw the pastoral care of one community, were kidnapped on March 14 and taken to the rectory. “The kidnappers wanted money and as they found nothing, they struck both in the head. The former seminarian died instantly and the priest underwent surgery, however did not survive,” said a diocesan spokesman.

“We cannot repay evil with evil, but justice must be done,” said Bishop João Maria Messi, OSM. “Let us be like Christ, ambassadors of peace."

There are 48 priests and 572,000 Catholics in the southeastern Brazilian diocese.

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